On January 31, Brunswick County Commissioner Mike Forte and other members of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) gathered in Raleigh to participate in a joint meeting of the Public Education and Tax & Finance Steering Committees. Members of the North Carolina School Boards Association and North Carolina Superintendents Association also participated in the meeting to share their insights on the challenges facing public schools, particularly as new class requirements go into effect.
Rockingham County Commissioner and Chair of the NCACC Public Education Committee Mark Richardson co-chaired the meeting along with Burke County Commissioner and Chair of the NCACC Tax and Finance Steering Committee, Johnnie Carswell. Commissioner Forte attended as a member of the Public Education Steering Committee.
NCACC Steering Committee co-chairs led a comprehensive discussion on the impact of class size reductions mandated by the legislature for grades K-3 in public schools throughout the state. Commissioners welcomed the views of the public school officials in attendance.
“It was exciting to see so many folks from School Boards coming in to join in the conversation,” said Commissioner Richardson.
Specifically, commissioners and public school officials expressed concerns about the costs associated with the new law and the challenges they will face in hiring new teachers.
“We just don’t have those teachers right now,” said Commissioner Carswell. “We learned that there is a teacher shortage all across the area.”
Commissioners also heard presentations from Burke Development Incorporated, which discussed local workforce development through public school. In addition, NCACC government relations staff provided an update on the Association’s legislative goals for the upcoming short session of the General Assembly and other policy issues that affect counties.
About the NCACC: The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) is the official voice of all 100 counties on issues being considered by the General Assembly, Congress and federal and state agencies. The Association provides expertise to counties in the areas of lobbying, fiscal and legal research, communications, intergovernmental relations, information technology, field visits and risk management services.